90 percent AFUE gas condensing furnace
High-efficiency gas furnace
When it comes to fuel efficiency, experts say nothing beats a gas condensing furnace, which has annual fuel-utilization efficiency (AFUE) of at least 90 percent. Compared with an 80 percent AFUE furnace, a condensing furnace might save you $8 or so for every $100 you spend on heating. Whether this savings is enough to offset the extra up-front cost will depend on factors such as climate, utility rates and the energy efficiency of your home. However, experts say that if you live in an area with harsh winters, such as the Northeast or the Midwest, a condensing furnace will probably pay for itself over time. High-efficiency gas furnaces with an AFUE of 95 percent or more can qualify for a tax credit of up to $150 until the end of 2011. State governments and utility companies may offer additional rebates.
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*Est. installed cost $3,000 and up